Sales calls are a critical component of any business. However, if done incorrectly, they can be incredibly frustrating because you won’t generate the leads you want. Luckily, there are sales call best practices your reps can follow to make the process easier and build trust with your potential customers.
Here are a few of our sales call best practices:
- Make a Plan Before Calling
- Set an Agenda for the Call
- Be Present in the Conversation
- Don’t Sell Immediately
- Gather Lead Qualifying Information
- Define Your Next Steps
Keep reading to learn what these tips entail.
Make a Plan Before Calling
One key to sales call success is preparation before making the dial. The best way to prepare is to research your prospective client ahead of time, which includes knowing who you’re calling, what you want to say, and what the prospect’s needs may be.
Knowing this in advance allows you to ask questions more efficiently and receive the information you need quickly for a productive conversation. It also adds credibility to what you say. Here are some things you can do before making the first dial:
Research the Business
Before anything else, you must research the business’s name, industry and what products or services they offer. For an extra touch, it’s worth learning about the company’s background, such as other companies they’ve worked with, what they value as an organization, etc. This shows that you’ve taken the time to understand their business, which builds trust.
Determine the Point of Contact
Your sales reps should have an idea of who the decision-maker is when it comes to purchasing your company’s product or service. A decision-maker is a person who makes purchasing decisions on behalf of their business. When a sales rep calls a prospective business, knowing the best point of contact is essential because it increases the chance to convert the prospect into a lead and the lead into a sales appointment. Without determining a decision-maker, your sales reps risk setting low-quality sales meetings and extending the purchasing timeline.
Set an Agenda for the Call
SDRs need to have a plan going into the sales call. What do you want to achieve from this conversation? What questions does an SDR need to ask to get what they want from the phone call? By setting an agenda, SDRs have a better game plan for how they want to approach the conversation with the KDM.
The agenda depends on what stage the potential buyer is at in the sales pipeline. For instance, if a prospect is just entering the sales pipeline, the plan for the first sales call should be to introduce your company. If the decision-maker is closer to the end of the sales funnel, the goal of the call should be to schedule a meeting.
Let’s jump into what goes into each of these types of sales calls.
Introducing Your Company
When thinking about how to start a sales call, the introduction is the top priority. Sales professionals know a great introduction is key to beginning any call—but what makes the introduction great?
To have a productive initial sales call, SDRs must understand these three elements:
- Relevance: This ensures your introduction speaks to your customer’s specific needs.
- Personable: Being personable and engaging allows your personality to shine through.
- Confidence: Being confident with your words and tone shows that you believe in your product or service, so potential buyers should too.
Nurturing the Relationship
Not every lead in the sales pipeline is ready to set a meeting after the initial sales call, which makes lead nurturing an essential component of the sales process. Making follow-up calls to prospective businesses is vital because it helps build the relationship over time and ensures that your company is the first one they want to do business with when the lead is ready to make a move.
Lead nurturing phone calls are different from initial sales calls because, most of the time, they involve a more in-depth conversation with a decision-maker. While initial sales calls focus on learning about the company and its qualifiers, a lead nurturing phone call should focus on the lead’s needs and how your company can resolve their pain points.
Setting Up a Sales Meeting With a Decision-Maker
The final step is to set up a sales meeting between the lead and an account executive. While this can happen after the first phone call, it’s not common, which is why the other sales call steps are necessary for building rapport and establishing your company as a thought leader in your industry.
Be Present in the Conversation
When you’re fully present in the conversation, you can more accurately understand the other person and build better rapport. A good practice for sales reps is being responsive and listening carefully to the potential buyer.
Active listening in sales means paying close attention to the customer and not just waiting for your turn to talk. Asking questions shows that you care about what the customer says and are interested in helping them meet their needs.
Customers want to feel like they’re your top priority. You can make them feel valued and appreciated by paying close attention to them and responding thoughtfully. This builds trust and leads to more closed business.
Don't Sell Immediately
While selling is your ultimate end goal, it’s vital that you don’t sell immediately because you risk scaring off the potential buyer.
When you’re making a business phone call, the last thing you want is the other person to think you’re a pushy sales rep looking to hit a quota. As you speak with potential buyers, open up the floor to a conversation. Ask what pain points they’re having with their business right now and where they want to see their business in the future.
Once the potential buyer explains what they’re looking for in a B2B product or service provider, you can use this information to tell a story about a company you’ve worked with in the past that relates to the potential buyer’s pain points. This puts the potential buyer in your client’s shoes, increasing their likelihood of working with your company.
Gather Lead Qualifying Information
It’s important to make sure that the leads you’re pursuing fit your company’s ideal customer profile by asking questions. Use your ideal customer profile to come up with friendly questions that’ll get you the necessary answers.
Qualifying a lead ensures that your rep speaks to a prospect who’s interested in what you have to offer. If they’re not interested, it’s better to find out early. Investing time and effort into pursuing anything further wastes everyone’s time.
Once you’ve determined that a lead is a good fit, identify their pain points and use them to your advantage. As we mentioned, learn about your customer’s challenges and frustrations. With these facts, you can start providing solutions to address those pain points.
Define Your Next Steps
So, your prospect is ready to make a decision. You’ve covered all the basics, and they’re on board with scheduling a sales appointment. The final step is making a plan with the decision-maker so you know you’ll hear from them again.
Schedule a time and date for the sales meeting. As you schedule an appointment, it’s essential that you briefly touch on what you plan to go over during the meeting, so the KDM has an idea of what to expect from the conversation. This also reduces the risk of the lead no-showing the meeting.
Sales calls are a necessary part of business growth, but they can be expensive and time-consuming without following sales call best practices. These best practices include:
- Tailoring your presentation for each call so you address the customer’s specific needs.
- Building trust to create a strong relationship that can lead to future business.
- Addressing their pain points to show you understand their concerns and are willing to work with them to find a solution.
Sales calls can be daunting, but you can make them easier with the right preparation. At Sapper Consulting, our SDRs help B2B clients make sales calls that effectively introduce companies to potential buyers and encourage them to set sales appointments.
If you need an extra hand with your B2B appointment setting efforts, contact the business growth experts at Sapper Consulting!